Two text message spammers fined $700,000 in the UK

By on November 28, 2012, 12:30 PM

It seems that no matter what medium people use for communication, spammers always find a way to make it a little less attractive. Junk mail, telemarketers, email spam and now even SMS spam have all likely been experienced by most at this point. But for those affected by the latter, there’s at least a little piece of justice today thanks to a recent ruling against two SMS spammers in the UK.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently handed down a $700,000 fine to two spammers that were allegedly responsible for sending out millions of unsolicited SMS messages in the region. Gary McNeish and Christopher Niebel, operating under the business name Tetrus Telecoms, peddled their spam service with claims they could generate up to 800,000 text messages per day.

To accomplish this task, the duo used upwards of 70 SIM cards per day in order to send the messages. The ICO says they used a card reader with each SIM, sending out messages until its daily limit had been reached. As you can imagine, this was a very lucrative operation that reportedly brought in around $11,000 in revenue daily.

Unsurprisingly, the types of businesses that took them up on their offer aren’t exactly the classiest around. BBC News says that many of their clients were claims companies trying to find individuals that had suffered an injury and were in need of a lawyer. Such companies collect information from victims and pass it along to attorneys for a fee.

McNeish and Niebel claim they did nothing wrong and had first obtained all of the necessary paperwork and consent to send the messages.




User Comments: 10

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

So we're (the UK) fining people in dollars now?

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've had my fair share of those SMS messages: "We've learned you're entitled to around £3452 in compensation through your recent accident..." yet I've had no such accidents.

Nice to hear some justice has been done.

Camikazi said:

So we're (the UK) fining people in dollars now?

It's the converted amount, they were fined £440,000.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's the converted amount, they were fined £440,000.

Then it should have been titled as much with the converted amount in parenthesis.

Camikazi said:

Then it should have been titled as much with the converted amount in parenthesis.

The article they got it from (the article if you click the word "justice" states it in dollars guessing they just copied from there. The source that article got it from did use £ though so just lost in article translation or something. The £ amount should have been put in there though.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Why is it that all the people doing "malicious" activities make so much money -_-

misor misor said:

How about website ads spammers?

in the past, I noticed some websites will not load until some ads load first.

until adblock came along

Robert Stoops Robert Stoops said:

How come these people are even allowed to go into business? Isn't there any agency assigned to regulate businesses like theirs??? I've been receiving a lot of these spam text messages and I reported all of them to Callercenter in the hopes that this inconvenience will be relayed to the proper authorities.

Tygerstrike said:

In the US we have the FCC. They regulate all cellphone businesses. If you have called your carrier provider and you still receive these types of texts, you can escalate to the FCC and report them. I'm sure there is a regulatory agency in pretty much every country that has a cellphone tower. So if you can't stand those types of text, report these ppl.

Guest said:

I hope such effort (spammers fined in big sum of money) could be done in my country also..

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.